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MASSACHUSETTS HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY 



HORTICULTURAL HALL 

300 MASS. AVE., BOSTON 02115 

Telephone 536-9280 




I 



The year 1972 for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society 
was somewhat of a mixed one. You can say there was some 
good mixed with some bad or some bad mixed with some good, 
depending on how you look at it. 

On a cash basis the Society lost $82,857, as compared to a 
very small profit in 1971 of $1,488. We actually have two 
sets of figures for this past year. Due to the Trustees' concern 
regarding the cost of supplying the magazine, HORTICUL- 
TURE, to people who have subscribed into the future — 
while we have taken the actual subscription money into the 
current operating year — we decided to determine what our 
costs of fulfillment, or obligation, would be. This will be ex- 
plained in detail later by Mr. Hunnewell, Chairman of the 
Lectures and Publications Committee and by Mr. Ewell, our 
Treasurer. However our accountants — after having seen this 
figure — felt it imperative that we report, not on a cash basis, 
but on an accrual basis; otherwise, they would have to give 
an adverse opinion on the audit statement. On an accrual ba- 
sis the Society made in the year 1972 $42,430, while 1971 
was restated from the small profit to a net loss of $181,414. I 
am sure this is somewhat confusing to you, as it was in the 
beginning to me. While it may sound nice to have a profit 
on an accrual basis, what is important to the Society's finances 
is that on a cash basis we had a substantial loss of over $82,000. 

On the brighter side, our membership responded very fa- 
vorably to our Annual Fund Drive in the amount of $43,470. 
In addition we received several major bequests, totaling 
$27,800, and a further $1,300 from unsolicited gifts. Such 
generous contributions are vital to the life of the Society, as 
can readily be seen by subtracting these substantial amounts 



frofn last year's operating record. We are deeply indebted for 
this support. 

Our recent major disappointment involved the Hancock 
Pavilion. After last year's Annual Meeting of the Society 
I. M. Pei & Associates presented to our membership a concept 
of a cultural pavilion that was to be the recycled John Hancock 
Clarendon Street Building. The Children's Museum and the 
Boston Center for Adult Education, as well as ourselves, were 
to move into this glass-roofed edifice as our headquarters. The 
Staff and members of the Board spent a good deal of their 
time and energies in an effort to culminate this project. On 
February 12th I wrote to the membership announcing the 
termination of this concept due to Hancock's building prob- 
lems. John Hancock paid all of our expenses except for staff 
time. These expenses included the architectural plans arid the 
Gladstone Associates' feasibility study, which called for the 
Society to have — among other things — greater visibility and 
program to serve the public on a day-to-day basis. While this 
project now will not happen, I certainly do not feel that our 
time and energies were fully wasted. We developed a careful 
insight as to what the Society has been, is today and, more 
importantly, what we think it should be in the future. I per- 
sonally thank the John Hancock organization for having 
brought us this far, and I sympathize with them in the prob- 
lems they are experiencing. 

Last year the Society produced its film,>4// These Things. 
Depicted were many of the activities of our organization such 
as the Hub Box for school children, our efforts in Mattapan, 
and what goes into putting a Spring Flower Show extravagan- 
za together as well as the final results. If you have not yet 
seen this 27-minute film I urge you to do so. Incidentally, it 
is available for a rental fee of $25, should you or your local 
organizations wish to take advantage of it. 

A new symbol — a sunflower burst — was designed and sent 
out to the membership. It represents the modernization and 
new direction of the Society and symbolizes the warmth and 
energy that come from the sun — beauty and productivity uni- 
fied. The symbol does not replace the Society's traditional 
seal; it is meant to complement it. 

I regret to report that, unfortunately, the Fall Show had 
to be canceled at the last minute. This was caused by financial 
changes outside of and beyond the Society's control. How- 
ever, the Spring Show returned with a flourish and a flair to 
the Commonwealth Armory. Many people were glad to see 
the Show back in the city once again. From a financial point 
of view it came in under budget and with a larger attendance 
than anticipated. It was good for Boston, good for the State, 
and netted the Society over $45,000. 

It is with deep sadness that I report the death of three past 
Trustees this last year. John 0. Stubbs, Trustee from 1966 



to 1971, became Vice-President in 1967 and so served until 
his retirement. His greatest contribution to the Society was 
his four-year reign as Chairman of the Committee on Lectures 
and Publications. His tireless efforts for our publication 
HORTICULTURE produced substantial results, for which we 
should be eternally grateful. Mrs. Roger S. Warner, Trustee for 
31 years, served on many committees and was probably best 
known as Chairman of the Committee on Exhibitions of the 
Products of Children's Gardens. Her efforts in this area bore 
fruitful results. Seth L. Kelsey, Honorary Trustee, served on 
the Board for 13 years, from 1952 to 1965. As well as being 
on the Committee on Medals and Chairman of the Member- 
ship Committee he served on the Exhibitions Committee, 
which he chaired in 1957 and 1958. We shall greatly miss 
these dedicated members. 

Dr. George H. M. Lawrence, who gave invaluable help to 
the Library Committee, unfortunately had to resign due to ill 
health. Two Trustees are retiring this year. Mrs. Charles F. 
Hovey, Trustee for nine years, has served most notably as 
either Chairman or Co-Chairman of the Spring Show Preview 
Party since its inception in 1966. Among other committees 
on which she has served she has been particularly helpful to 
me on the Executive Committee. Mrs. Charles G. Rice is a 
gardener's gardener if there ever was one. She has worked dil- 
igently on the Program Committee and has been especially 
instrumental in returning the Daffodil Show to Horticultural 
Hall. I hope these two grand ladies will continue to serve the 
Society proudly as members of the Trustees Emeriti. 

Finally, I report the retirement of Mrs. Muriel Crossman. 
She served as Librarian for over ten years and unquestionably 
is the greatest asset the library has had in its recent past. We 
wish her happiness in her retirement. 

In closing, I would like to thank each of the members of 
the Board and the Staff for their dedicated service. 

Russell B. Clark, President 
MEMBERSHIP REPORT 

On December 31, 1972 the total membership was 5,494, 
as compared with 5,351 at the end of 1971. 

During the year 600 new members were added, compared 
to 540 in 1971. Of the total membership 396 failed to renew 
in 1972 and 61 were reported deceased, resulting in a net in- 
crease for the year of 143. 

Membership income increased from $83,180 in 1971 to 
$84,294 in 1972. 

Mary W. (Mrs. Samuel H.) Wolcott 
Chairman, Membership Committee 



TREASURER'S REPORT 



Some of you may remember that my report as Treasurer a 
year ago was encouraging, in that for 1971 the Society had 
shown a slight profit for the first time in many years. I did 
temper my remarks by pointing out that the surplus was pri- 
marily due to the "windfall" received by the pre-renewal 
promotion of HORTICULTURE magazine, which resulted in 
some $180,000 in cash received in 1971 toward future deliv- 
ery of magazines. 

In my three years as Treasurer I have always had some 
doubts as to our reporting our financial condition on a cash 
basis, which was traditional for the Society — in other words, 
making no provision for commitments incurred that would 
require cash outlays in future fiscal periods. The "windfall" 
mentioned above was a dramatic example of using current 
cash for current expenses, rather than setting aside a portion 
of the cash for liabilities that we knew we were responsible 
for in the years to come. 

Thanks to improved computer programming we were able 
to develop for the first time in 1972 accurate predictions of 
what commitments we actually had in 1973 and the years 
thereafter for delivery of unfulfilled HORTICULTURE sub- 
scriptions. 

In reviewing the 1971 figures compared to 1972 our audi- 
tors, Alexander Grant & Company, became very conscious of 
these wide swings in cash receipts. With my concurrence and 
that of Allan McLeod, our Comptroller, it was decided that 
we should shift our accounting practice to an accrual, rather 
than a cash, basis. Accrual accounting is used by most profit- 
making corporations to reflect the position of the company 
properly, that is, allocating both income and expenses to the 
actual fiscal period involved. 

This has been a rather lengthy preamble, but necessary 
to explain a drastic revision of our 1971 figures, as well as the 
financial results for 1972. On a cash basis 1972 resulted in a 
loss of $82,857, but using the accrual method — whereby 
some of the 1971 receipts were allocated to 1972 — we now 
show a profit of $42,430. Naturally, this alters the 1971 fig- 
ures dramatically; previously reported as a profit of $1,488, 
they now become a loss of $181,414. However, we are now 
in a more realistic position to judge both our present status 
and our future potential. 

Certainly we should be proud of the increase in member- 
ship income of $2,200, the increase in book value of invest- 
ments of almost $50,000, the magnificent jump in both 
Spring Show and Spring Show Preview 1972 of $23,000 and 
$6,000, respectively. These figures are very encouraging, but 



we must feel our way with HORTICULTURE magazine; we 
must acknowledge that the library at present is a drain of 
some $30,000 a year and appreciate that, while general ex- 
penses covering the building and offices were reduced by 
$10,000 in 1972, we are stretching our luck in avoiding major 
expenses on Horticultural Hall. 

In conclusion, as President Clark has said, we are doing 
well in some areas and poorly in others. I would like to stress, 
however, that in order to carry out the concept of the Society 
we must look for innovations in programming and new sources 
of income to achieve greater participation in our overall effort. 

John W. Ewell, Treasurer 



HORTICULTURE REPORT 

The President and Treasurer have both reported on the cash 
and accrual accounting systems as they apply to HORTICUL- 
TURE, hence I need not comment on the situation. 

The loss on a cash basis for 1972 was about $45,000, com- 
pared to a budgeted loss of $8,000. The primary reason for 
this disappointing performance was the failure of our readers 
to renew their subscriptions at a satisfactory rate. Therefore, 
to keep our circulation above the 130,000 subscribers we 
promise our advertisers, we were forced to spend $30,000 
over budget in promotion to obtain new readers. 

This situation has caused debate among the Staff, the Pub- 
lisher and the members of your Publications Committee as to 
whether our readers fail to renew because they do not like the 
magazine or because we do not attract the proper subscribers 
in the first place. After extensive testing of different offers, 
we have found that a half-price offer is the best method of 
attracting new subscribers. The argument is whether these 
people who subscribe at half-price are really only bargain 
hunters, who cannot be expected to renew their subscriptions 
the following year at the full price. 

To resolve this dilemma we are constantly trying to im- 
prove the editorial content of the magazine; by editorial con- 
tent I mean all of the articles, as opposed to the advertising, 
not just the very fine editorials of Carlton Lees. For example, 
we are this year planning four major features in addition to 
the regular articles. On the other hand, to improve the quality 
of our new subscribers, we are also constantly trying to find 
and test new and better lists. (I define quality as a subscriber 
who has a real interest and will renew.) 

In 1972 we created a new category, called a Subscribing 
Member of the Society, which is an effort to offer more to 
our subscribers. This is really more of a psychological attrac- 



tion to them, and does not in any way infringe on the rights 
of our regular full members. 

On the good side our advertising income increased 35 per 
cent, from $188,000 in 1971 to $248,000 in 1972, and I 
believe we can continue to make significant gains in this area. 
The magazine is now running just about half-and-half adver- 
tising and editorial content. And our Classified section is 
providing a very real service to our readers; in the current 
May issue it totals seven and one-third pages. 

Because of the financial troubles of the magazine over the 
past few years, I think I tend to pay too much attention to 
the strictly dollars and cents side of the picture. The purpose 
of the magazine is not to make money, but to increase the 
horticultural knowledge, interest and enthusiasm of its read- 
ers. From that point of view, I think we are doing a good job. 

Willard P. Hunnewell, Chairman 
Lectures & Publications Committee 



PROGRAM REPORT 

Seven years ago, in September of 1966, the Planning Com- 
mittee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society brought to 
the Board of Trustees a three-page report with specific recom- 
mendations. This report and Committee were succeeded by 
other reports and committees, all of which contributed to our 
progress. Somehow, while we have made progress, we have 
yet to achieve many of the goals. 

In the report of 1966, four points bear repeating: 

1. That the Society recognize and give new emphasis to the 
role of horticulture in the creation and conservation of 
human environment, and make every effort to establish 
and carry forward as comprehensive a program as possible 
to become a more important influence for improving the 
quality of that environment. 

2. That the Society take the leadership in fundamental pro- 
grams and activities which contribute to the overall ad- 
vancement of horticulture. 

3. That the Society make every possible effort to establish 

or cause to be established appropriate information/meeting/ 
class/demonstration centers, on its own or in cooperation 
with appropriate organizations and/or institutions, through- 
out the Commonwealth. 

4. That the Society make every effort to establish a conser- 
vatory-gallery in Boston to most effectively demonstrate 
man's dependence on plants, and to interpret such displays 
for students of every level through appropriate agencies. 

These points make clear the fact that the Society's basic func- 
tion is not service to members. 



With the exception of our Hub Box program, which in 
1972 involved 31 trained volunteers who reached 800 third 
and fourth graders in Boston classrooms, and of a few volun- 
teers whom we recruit from time to time for other public- 
oriented events, practically all services to the horticultural 
and geographic communities are carried out by staff. In 1972 
staff members in 75 instances contributed their professional 
skills as project and program advisors to other organizations 
and institutions. They made 20 radio and television appear- 
ances on behalf of the Society and authored a total of 105 
articles for HORTICULTURE and for other publications. 
They provided judging skills for flower shows, exhibits, neigh- 
borhood 4-H fairs. The staff delivered 28 lectures, to such 
groups as the Associated Landscape Contractors of Massachu- 
setts, the Association for Better Housing in Mattapan, the 
Fenway Garden Society, Massachusetts Aborists, high school 
and college student groups, natural history teachers and many 
others. 

There are of course meetings at which the staff must repre- 
sent the Society and also keep in touch with what is going on. 
I am thinking of the Governor's meeting on environmental 
reorganization, for example, the American Horticultural Con- 
gress, the Mailorder Association of Nurserymen. We also must 
attend many of the meetings of the special plant societies, 
particularly those which involve planning for cooperative 
events such as the Rose Show with the New England Rose 
Society. And in November the Society organized a "Meet the 
Plant Societies" exhibition, staged in the lobby of the Pru- 
dential Tower, which attracted some 2,500 people. 

Our VoAg Days, designed to help students in vocational 
agricultural and horticultural high schools to become more 
aware of career possibilities, brought 220 young people to 
Horticultural Hall on two occasions. Another 42 participated 
in the all-day plant identification and judging contest at the 
Spring Flower Show. And 1,600 sunflower planting kits were 
distributed to 40 Boston classrooms in 40 schools. 

The Society also carries on an informal but nonetheless 
helpful employment service for gardeners in search of gardens 
and gardens in search of gardeners. Six placements were made 
during 1972. 

It is more obvious that our Garden Information is very def- 
initely a public service. Over 6,500 requests for information 
were answered by telephone and mail last year — and those 
are only the ones which were counted. 

Two of the most conspicuous of the Society's programs 
which go far beyond membership are its publication, HORTI- 
CULTURE, and the library. Both have been and continue to 
be the cause of financial concern; yet they are the two most 
important tools we possess. When you realize that HORTI- 
CULTURE reaches over 400,000 readers every month you can 
readily appreciate that, editorially, we are doing something for 



gardens and gardening throughout the United States. But do 
you also realize that HORTICULTURE is an important vehi- 
cle for producers of horticultural goods and services? During 
1972 we serviced 293 display and 400 classified advertisers. 
The Society certainly is doing its job for promoting horticul- 
ture (as a subject) in the market place. 

During 1972 the ten-year Supplement to the Dictionary 
Catalog of the Library was published. These volumes are in 
80-100 libraries throughout the world, and that alone should 
say something to us about the importance of the collection. 
Yet we now find ourselves asking how much longer we can go 
on maintaining, for the good of society at large, what must be 
in the realm of a national treasure. Remember, this library 
was founded 33 years before the Department of Agriculture. 
But here we are, wondering if perhaps we should break up the 
collection and keep only a current circulating collection. It is 
very difficult to measure the effectiveness of the library in 
numbers, but perhaps when a Joseph Ewan of Tulane Univer- 
sity or a Dr. Stern, Director of the British Museum, makes use 
of this collection we cannot be altogether sure how much the 
numbers mean. It is also true that these and other serious 
scholars would find the references, no matter where or how 
they were housed. Is there a way of funding the library prop- 
erly? By properly I mean that, in addition to the $32,000 it 
consumed of 1972 operating revenues, it should also be 
charged appropriately for heat, light and rent. It also would 
be far more effective if we could afford a staff large enough 
and scholarly enough to mine the library's treasures in the 
name of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. 

The activities which are, in the main, member-oriented — 
classes/workshops/courses — along with the many exhibits 
and shows, bring in enough in registration fees and admissions 
to carry their own weight. The Spring Flower Show, back in 
Boston for the first time in many years, more than paid for 
itself and, fortunately, contributed about $35,000 to other 
program activities as well as another $25,000 for overall Soci- 
ety operation. The Taylor Greenhouse in Waltham is our 
first "out-station" and, thanks to a very hard-working and 
generous committee, is still in the black ink. The Hub Box 
classroom program is supported by a steady flow of $25.00 
contributions from garden clubs everywhere. 

When the Society was founded there were but 24 states 
and our nation was but 53 years old. We were, in effect, 
"national" in our thinking. But it was a smaller nation. After 
a recent analysis of our membership (4,300 of 5,800 living 
within the arc of Route 495) I am wondering if we are really 
a Massachusetts Horticultural Society. So, as I look back on 
that report of September, 1966 and reflect on the throughout 
Massachusetts which appears with reference to the establish- 
ment of information/meeting/demonstration centers, I ques- 



tion it. I know from experience that it is difficult enough to 
get broad membership support within the confines of Route 
495, let alone throughout the Commonwealth. 

Certainly much that we do is a reflection of the points 
made. Our problem is that we do not do enough conspicu- 
ously enough; hence we fail to express to a very large public 
what we are on a day-to-day basis. It is for this reason that 
so many have felt the urban conservatory-gallery concept was 
a good one. We need a green facility where children can come 
by the school bus load day in, day out. Only when we get 
masses of children and their parents coming to us will they 
begin to understand what we are. When members of the staff 
go to Gloucester or Mattapan to work with a group we are 
only nice, helpful guys. We cannot look like the Massachu- 
setts Horticultural Society; we cannot express in a whole 
sense what the Society is all about; we can work only on a 
small scale. And while it is important to work with people as 
individuals, with the proper kind of program and facilities — 
and I mean specifically a year-round exhibition of living plants 
— we could reach thousands, because the exhibits would do 
the talking, the demonstrating, the teaching. 

There is great pessimism and gloom now that the Hancock 
Pavilion is no longer a possibility in our future. I am willing 
to bet that with today's concern for green environments some- 
body is going to build such an exhibition facility in Boston. It 
is, in my opinion, the only conceivable way to reach masses 
of people and find new sources of income at the same time. 
If we were starting a new corporation we would have to sell 
shares. Cannot we get people to buy shares in Boston's fu- 
ture? We are a respected and important institution, yet most . 
of the time we go around as if we were ashamed of ourselves. 
If we are second class, it is our own fault. I think it is time to 
fight for a future bigger than our past. Otherwise, we might 
as well fold up now and go out of existence. 

In closing, and with the approval of Mrs. Charles Rice, I 
want to read a paragraph from a letter which came to the So- 
ciety, with a gift check, in March: 

The recent hope for the Society having fallen through, 
again we wait to know what future planning is in pros- 
pect. The recent tragic death of the Rices' son to us 
points to the ever greater need for Boston to keep its 
cultural, educational and scientific institutions and in- 
crease their scope from within the city. If our cities 
cannot overcome the present threats to their viability, 
then the blight will spread to the suburbs. The city 
gave us the glory of the past, and the city has to be 
a major factor in whatever can be hoped for in the 
future. 

Carlton B. Lees, Executive Director 



OFFICERS, TRUSTEES AND TRUSTEES EMERITI 

1973-1974 



OFFICERS 

Russell B. Clark, President 

Joseph W. Lund, Vice-President 

Willard P. Hunnewell, Vice-President 

John W. Ewell, Treasurer 

Edward H. Osgood, Assistant-Treasurer 

Carlton B. Lees, Secretary 



TRUSTEES 

Oliver F. Ames 

Nathan Chandler 

Roger G. Coggeshall 

Edward N. Dane 

Henry F. Davis, III 

Raymond DeVincent 

Henry S. Francis, Jr. 

Dr. Robert L. Goodale 

Erik H. Haupt 

Garth Hite 

Mrs. Robert C. Knowles 

Dr. John A. Naegele 

Edward H. Osgood 

Mrs. C. Campbell Patterson 

Robert S. Pirie 

Mrs. John C. Storey 

John L. Wacker 

Mrs. Samuel H. Wolcott 



TRUSTEES EMERITI 

C. Roy Boutard 

Albert C. Burrage 

George B. Cabot 

Mrs. C. Norman Collard 

Edward Dane 

Mrs. John M. Hall 

Dr. John R. Havis 

E. Miles Herter 

Mrs. Charles F. Hovey' 

Dr. George H. M. Lawrence 

Vincent N. Merrill 

Edmund V. Mezitt 

Frederick S. Moseley, III 

Miss Helen C. Moseley 

Mrs. James H. Perkins 

George Putnam 

Mrs. Charles G. Rice 

Robert G. Stone 

Mrs. G. Kennard Wakefield 



HONORARY TRUSTEES 

Harold D. Stevenson 
Dr. Donald Wyman